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Faster Payments

A Regulator’s View Of Faster Payments

When regulators talk, the payments ecosystem listens. PYMNTS caught up with Kathleen Oldenborg, the OCC’s Director for Payment Systems Policy, to get her take on what a digital framework capable of securely supporting an ecosystem of real-time payments must look like from her perch. That and more in this month’s Faster Payments Tracker™. (Better listen up…)

June’s Faster Payments Tracker™ features an inside look at how the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a member of the Fed’s Faster Payments Taskforce, is facilitating the country’s transition to an economy of rapid transactions. PYMNTS interviewed Kathleen Oldenborg, the OCC’s Director for Payment Systems Policy, about the upcoming launch of Faster Payments in the U.S.

Here’s a sneak peek:

As faster payments continue to grow in accessibility and use, and cement the relationship between banking and technology, digital solutions will keep playing a major role in the financial ecosystem.

According to Oldenborg, it’s too early to confidently speculate on the future of the faster payments rails system, though she believes it will likely be enhanced down the line.

“We will probably emerge with a more cohesive and interoperable set of systems (or rails) that will allow greater flexibility. For those that remember the early days of computer programming when a single program of code was replaced with iterative, module-based coding and how it revolutionized the business of application development,” she said.

Whatever the faster payments infrastructure looks like a few years in the future, one thing is fairly certain: Improvements to speed and efficiency have the potential to completely transform the banking industry.

What’s happening in the movement toward Faster Payments

The OCC is, of course, not alone in its focus on Faster Payments. This month, a variety of organizations – from private businesses to government agencies – contributed to the national push for real-time financial transactions.

The Fed’s Faster Payments Task Force continued to receive proposals from companies vying to become the provider of the Faster Payments framework for the U.S. Among the recent wave of submissions was FinTech startup Dwolla, whose technology will now be vetted by the Task Force. A recent NACHA survey showed that efficient, high-speed banking solutions, such as Direct Deposit via ACH, are extremely popular among users, further bolstering the case for implementing a national Faster Payments ecosystem. The report showed that most people were highly satisfied with Direct Deposit, because it gave them faster access to their pay. Consumer demand for efficiency was also evidenced by a report from the U.S. Postal Service, which is considering throwing its hat into the Faster Payments ring. The USPS is exploring the potential benefits of leveraging blockchain technology to become a “global payment service” for unbanked customers.

The June edition of the Tracker features more information about these trending stories, as well as additional news highlights from throughout the Faster Payments space.

To download the June edition of the Faster Payments Tracker™, powered by NACHA, click the button below.


About The Tracker

The PYMNTS Faster Payments Tracker™, powered by NACHA, is your go-to resource for staying up to date on a month-by-month basis. The tracker highlights the contribution of different stakeholders, including institutions and technology coming together to make this happen.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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